ACCLAIMED BRITISH LIGHT ARTIST RETURNING TO U.S., UNVEILING THREE NEW PIECES IN 2013
December 12, 2012 (NASHVILLE, TN) – Internationally renowned British artist Bruce Munro will exhibit Light, an exhibition of 10 breathtaking, large-scale outdoor and indoor lighting installations coupled with indoor sculptures, at Nashville’s Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art from May 24 through November 10, 2013. The exhibit will include four installations never before seen in the U.S.
Using an inventive array of materials and hundreds of miles of glowing optical fiber, Munro will transform Cheekwood’s magnificent gardens, manicured grounds and rolling hills into an enchanting, iridescent landscape that emerges organically at nightfall.
Munro’s site-specific exhibit will mark only the second time he has showcased his solo work in the U.S. In 2012, Munro debuted Light at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa., drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors and critical acclaim. Cheekwood’s Light will include three entirely new installations: Bell Drop Chandelier, Fagin’s Urchins and Light Reservation. Two of these new works were inspired by the subtleties of Cheekwood’s grounds and the third by a lighting technique that Munro only recently began to explore. Blue Moon, which will be in Cheekwood’s Japanese Garden, is a work never before seen in the U.S.
“Cheekwood is honored to host Bruce Munro’s Light and to invite Nashville residents and visitors from around the world to experience the transcendent power of his inspired installations,” said Jane Offenbach, president and CEO of Cheekwood. “We were among several premier botanical gardens nationwide actively courting Munro, and are thrilled he selected Cheekwood to mount his mesmerizing exhibit. Cheekwood’s Dale Chihuly exhibition in 2010 was a huge success, and I am confident that Light will draw record crowds and solidify Cheekwood as a preeminent setting for other major artists to showcase their work.”
Wiltshire-based Munro is an installation artist working with light in all of its forms. His work has been exhibited at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum—the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design—and at the 13th century gothic Salisbury Cathedral, where it garnered international praise. Munro’s work has also been shown at the Holburne Museum in Bath, Kensington Palace in London and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
“During my first visit to Cheekwood earlier in the year, I had a visceral reaction to the scale and positioning of the estate’s buildings. They are at one with the landscape, breeding a sense of understated balance and harmony that truly inspired me and undoubtedly permeates the visitor experience,” said Munro. “This is the most perfect place to exhibit because it provides a variety of opportunities to respond to – each space varies in both scale and topographical character. In addition, Cheekwood’s world class exhibition galleries are a veritable jewel in its crown. I feel lucky and privileged to install my work at this prestigious and beautiful estate.”
At the center of the exhibit’s 10 site-specific installations will be the Field of Light featuring 20,000 lighted glass spheres, each rising from the ground on a slender stem. The sheer volume of spheres, the glow of the lights and the gentle shapes create an effect that is both natural and otherworldly. Notably, the Field of Light that Munro will create at Cheekwood will be his most expansive to date.
In Cheekwood’s color garden, 40 monumental towers made of recyclable water bottles will evanesce and reappear in a glowing dance as the individual towers change color in synchronization with music. This installation, Water-Towers, seeks to “capture the spirit of life's continual flux,” explains Munro. “It reinforces the idea that reality is simply a beautiful improvised dance that lives in the moment.”
Along with the large-scale outdoor installations, Light will also feature a collection of illuminated sculptures within Cheekwood’s Museum of Art, including a gallery dedicated to Munro’s works. Again, several of these works have never before been installed in the U.S., including the Bell Drop Chandelier – comprised of 500 fiber optic cables – that was created for the main stairwell of the museum.
Located on the western edge of Nashville, Cheekwood is a privately funded 55-acre estate built by the Maxwell House Coffee fortune and one of the finest examples of an American Country Place Era Estate in the U.S. The Botanical Garden at Cheekwood is a spectacular showcase of color and horticultural diversity with eleven specialty display gardens and stunning natural landscape. Cheekwood’s Museum of Art, housed in a 30,000-square foot Georgian-style mansion, features world-class collections of American and contemporary painting and sculpture, English and American decorative arts and traveling exhibitions. With its history, beauty, year-round family-friendly activities and stylish seasonal celebrations, Cheekwood attracts more than 250,000 visitors annually.
While hosting Light, Cheekwood will offer extended hours on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings until 11:00 p.m. to share the luminous beauty of the exhibition in its most stunning state: under the night sky. On First Tennessee Fridays, Cheekwood will open its Pineapple Room Restaurant for dinner, host several bars with drinks and snacks throughout the property, and feature live music to enhance visitors’ Light experience.
Light is presented by First Tennessee Foundation and co-sponsored by Gullett, Sanford, Robinson and Martin, PLLC. Additional sponsorships are available; for information call Bennett Tarleton at 615-353-6983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheekwood is a 55-acre botanical garden and art museum located on the historic Cheek estate. Cheekwood’s missision is to preserve Cheekwood as an historical landmark where beauty and excellence in art and horticulture stimulate the mind and nurture the spirit. Cheekwood is located at 1200 Forrest Park Drive in Nashville, 8 miles southwest of downtown Nashville. Open Tuesday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, seniors $10 and children 3-17 are $5. Parking is $3 per car. Admission during Bruce Munro Nights will be $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, $8 for children 3-17, and $5 for Cheekwood members. For further information call 615-356-8000 or visit www.cheekwood.org.